Zionsville Times Sentinel

County

October 11, 2012

Courthouse security upgrade won’t be cheap

New security guidelines for the Boone County Courthouse, and possibly other county-owned buildings, will be drafted by an eight-member committee.

An incident involving a man who entered the Boone Superior Court II office with a video camera strapped to his head in September triggered the review, although it’s been known for several years security at Boone’s courthouse is well below standards recommended by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Only a handful of other Indiana courthouses have security as lax as Boone’s.

Boone County Sheriff's Office Major Mike Nielsen and BCSO Sgt. Joe Rady updated the Boone County Commissioners on a courthouse security committee’s progress last week.

The committee includes Nielsen, Rady, Sheriff Ken Campbell, Superior Court I Judge Matthew Kincaid and Commissioner Marc Applegate. Nominees remain to be named by the Boone County Bar Association and the Boone County Council, although Councilman Butch Smith told Nielsen and Rady he’d be interested in participating. The Boone County Bar Association will be asked to nominate a member to the committee.

Courthouses should have only one or two secure entrances with metal detectors, a minimum of two guards, and video cameras, Nielsen told the commissioners at their Sept. 18 meeting.

He would prefer one entrance/exit point, Nielsen said.

While the county has three walk-through metal detectors, upgrading security measures will not be cheap.

A panic alarm system in the courthouse is 18 years old and obsolete, with parts no longer available, Rady said. He’s talked to a representative of Raycomm, a security alarm company, who “threw out a figure of $50,000” to upgrade the courthouse system.

The commissioners also want to review installing security at the former Elks Lodge, 220 W. Washington St., which they recently purchased for new office space. Closing on the building was Friday, Oct. 5.

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